Tulsa, Houston Seek Higher Profiles

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They’re not the cities that have been making data center headlines in their respective states. But officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Houston, Texas are mindful of the economic development potential of data centers, and see their cities as potential growth markets for mission-critical facilities.

The Tulsa World newspaper reviews the city’s prospects in the context of a study from The Boyd Company that compares the affordability of 60 U.S. cities as locations for a 100,000 square foot data center (see our earlier coverage for details on Boyd’s site location research). “Tulsa really is emerging as a place where decision makers are looking,” John Boyd, president of the Boyd Company, told the paper. “Tulsa enjoys a nice operating cost advantage over some major markets nationally.”

When Google came looking for sites in Oklahoma, it settled on a property in Pryor for its $600 million data center project. But Tulsa has had its share of successes, most notably a significant data center expansion by EDS, which will boost the raised floor space at its Tulsa facility from 76,000 to 156,000 square feet.


Further south, the Houston Chronicle had an article Monday examining the city’s data center market, which has heated up in recent months with the acquisition of two managed hosting providers. In July, Boston-based private equity firm Abry Partners acquired CyrusOne, after which disaster recovery specialist Sungard bought Vericenter.

Houston has had a lower profile than San Antonio, Austin and Dallas in the Texas data center boom. But Houston is notable because it was one of the first cities where a data center provider tested the capacity of the local electric utility. In August 2003 the fast growing dedicated server company Rackshack maxed out the available power from CenterPoint Energy and had to suspend a popular $1 setup promotion to put the brakes on its growth.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.